- A Quilting Journey
- What If?
- Alzheimer's Illustrated:From Heartbreak to Hope
- Liberated Quilting Challenge
- Prayer Flags
- Michele Bilyeu: Making Prayer Flags
- Making Fidget Quilts for Alzheimer's Patients
- TUTORIAL LINK LISTS: By Themes
- Respect Creative Common Copyrights
- With Heart and Hands: Michele Bilyeu (blog)
Healing Hearts Quilts
Initially, back in the 70's and early 80's, I made patchwork pillows...one of every design in the "Quilts, Quilts, Quilts" book... and those pillows ended up on the reading couches of elementary and middle schools in the Salem, Oregon area.
Later, I began to make and then give away my quilts...first simply made, and then with more detail and creative patchwork. I've given to survivors of natural disasters...hurricanes, fires, floods, and tornadoes.When Hurricane Katrina, and then Rita, hit the Gulf states in 2005, I sent 6 quilts within a month, and 25 of my own quilts within a year's time. After those initial delivery trucks winded down, I made them for the Salem Interfaith Ministry...a group of many religious and spiritual denominations who simply band together, and help others.
I knew then that I could sew quilts and give them to others in need.... and that the wonderful feeling that the giving gave back to me, was far greater than winning awards, or writing a book, or receiving personal recognition in any way! It was just deeply moving and made me truly happy inside!
I've made quilts for a number of hospitals in a number of states, for several organizations that help abused children, for mission trips to Africa and other countries, for programs to help mothers and children leaving abusive situations, children in foster care, and those in need of all ages from neo-natal preemies, to the elderly in hospitals or in need of a passage quilt in hospice care. As shown above, I've also made them for families moving into their Habitat for Humanity homes. I also make cloth baby diapers and bags for countries where babies have nothing...not even when they leave hospitals and are simply wrapped up in newspaper if the parents have no clothing, diapers, or blankets for them!
It is by far the most meaningful giving I have done after a lifetime of volunteer work in schools and social service organizations from Alaska to Oregon. While being in the education field taught me about community...both families and individuals..it is my own personal non-denominational healing ministry that has, by far, taught me..and given back to me, the very most.
Whether we give a quilt to comfort, or to wrap up and warm, or help buffer the pain of a hurting and loss filled heart, all such quilts given with love and made with both our hands and our hearts are 'healing hearts' quilts. But my quilts are made with the infusion of healing touch energies, a gift that I was born with but that I later learned was inherited from my paternal grandmother. I have studied and practiced many healing arts: Therapeutic Touch, Reiki Healing Hands Levels I, II, and III, Healing Touch, a from of Medical Ch'i Gong and others. Added with the eternal and ever present of spiritual beliefs and prayer, it creates strong energy fields for the power of love when given freely from an open and caring heart.
Now, many of my tiny art quilts are given to charitable organizations to raise funds for research, but even then...those tiny art quilts still go to someone who has found a heartstring of meaning from that quilt to their own heart....for we have all shared in love and loving, loss and losing , of those loved ones that truly are the very deepest and most meaning filled parts of our selves.
Right now, at this stage of my life, donating to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative brings my own hurting heart great peace and comfort. 15 members of my own family have faced the dreadful disease of Alzheimer's and now, my mother and one aunt whose family is not yet counting her amongst our crowded group, are still left alive.
Once I realized that I could still personally care of my parents by traveling back and forth many times a year from Oregon to Alaska..and still find time to add the creating and donating of little AAQI quilts..those went into my healing hearts quilts, as well.
No matter to whom a quilt ends up covering, or hanging on a wall, or just being held....if the one it is given too can feel my loving...feel the work of both my heart and my hands....it is always, and forever a healing heart quilt.
No time to make a quilt? Make a simple fabric postcard, a pillowcase, a journal cover, a little heart shaped pillow, an adult bib for a nursing home patient, or any other heart shaped gift!
My own links and free quilt patterns for comfort quilt giving:
Free Babies, Childrens Quilt Patterns for children in need or in hospitals
Angel Wraps and Preemie Blankets for those born or lost too soon
Free Breast Cancer (and other cancers) Awareness Quilt Patterns
Free Heart Themed Quilt ...and many other small items...Patterns
Making a Heart Shaped Pillow for cardiac patients, mastectomy patients and others
String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow for any one in need of comfort
Quilted Book or Journal Cover...for someone in the hospital or on any healing journey
Making an Adult Bib
How To Make A Fabric Postcard
Make a Magic 'Burrito' Pillowcase
How To Make A Quillow
Free Patriotic Quilt Patterns for veterans and their families
Blue or Gold Star Banner for Military Families
2,500 Free Quilt Patterns...patterns for quilts to make and give...anytime to anyone